The collection of the Puppetry Museum is unique in its kind because it is so comprehensive, diverse and international in scope. In the Netherlands, it is the only collection in the field of puppetry that is open to the public. The collection gives a thorough impression of puppetry and (folk) puppetry in past and present days. It also shows to what extent puppetry inspires and influences other arts.
The Puppetry Museum Foundation (Stichting Het Poppenspe(e)lmuseum) was established in 1984 by Otto van der Mieden (b. 1945), museum director, curator and puppet player, who started collecting objects connected with puppetry in 1970. The collection serves as the basis for a great variety of activities both in and outside the museum. The Puppetry Museum has been an officially recognized museum since 2001. The village of Vorchten lies on the banks of the River IJssel, between Deventer and Zwolle, – on a level with Wijhe, but on the other side of the river. The Puppet Museum is located just behind the dike, in the middle of meadows and orchards. On entering, visitors are given a warm welcome (Van harte welkom!) by Jan Klaassen and Katrijn. Together with their cousins from abroad, these two main characters from old Dutch puppet plays are the museum’s host and hostess. The museum features a wide collection of wayang figures, marionettes, hand puppets, rod and stick puppets, small cardboard theatres, shadow plays, photographs, books, posters, prints and paraphernalia pertaining to puppetry.For more information about the museum, please see the multilingual website www.poppenspelmuseum.nl. There you will find a digital brochure in English, French, German and Dutch with information on the Puppetry Museum and background information on its theme exhibitions.
The Poppenspe(e)linformatiecentrum gives an impression of the multitude of forms (folk) puppetry can take on. The available information includes a puppetry thesaurus, the library, various themes, descriptions of objects and hundreds of links to international sites on puppetry and related arts. A Puppet Theatre ABC with almost 500 entries and illustrations includes an explanation of expressions, puppetry techniques, typical puppetry figures, characters and concepts.